To jump-start the program and practice what it preaches to Salt Lake visitors, the SLCVB estimated the staff's travel in 2009 (1 million miles) and calculated its carbon footprint utilizing its carbon calculator (212 tons of carbon emissions). The SLCVB then purchased 424 trees to double the offset of its own estimated impact on the environment. (The SLCVB Carbon Offset program estimates a $10 purchase of trees to offset one ton of carbon emissions.)
"We feel it's critical to not only offer such programs for our visitors, but to actively participate and show our stewardship for the environment and our future, particularly in Salt Lake where we're literally surrounded by nature," said Scott Beck, President and CEO of the SLCVB. "For just $5, you can purchase a seedling that will help offset half a ton of carbon. Imagine the impact one million trees will have over time, not only to the atmosphere but to our community as a whole."
In an effort to maximize the benefits Salt Lake receives from this project, every tree purchased as part of the carbon offset program is being planted in Salt Lake County. This quick-and-easy way to make a difference is in conjunction with Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon's "One Million Trees for One Million People" program, a 10-year campaign with the goal of planting one million trees in Salt Lake County by 2017. The trees are being planted and cared for by TreeUtah, a nonprofit organization dedicated to tree planting and education.
"I'm encouraged that individuals, as well as public and private organizations, are recognizing the importance of protecting the natural environment," commented Mayor Corroon. "I applaud the efforts of the SLCVB to offset its impact on our planet."
Carbon offsetting is the process of helping counteract the amount of carbon dioxide emissions created when doing an activity that uses energy and generates emissions, such as driving or flying. Carbon offsetting enables anyone to reduce their carbon footprint by offsetting their own contribution to global warming. To calculate your carbon emission and purchase the necessary trees to offset it, go to www.visitsaltlake.com/carbon_offset/.
The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, non-profit corporation responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination. Over its 25 years, the SLCVB has increased convention revenue from $11 million to $326 million, fulfilling its mission of improving the area economy by attracting and providing support to conventions, leisure travelers and visitors. Salt Lake is a unique fusion of metropolitan city and quaint mountain town; the towering Wasatch Mountains that embrace Salt Lake offer a dramatic backdrop to the vibrancy and activities of downtown. Having completed a $58 million expansion in 2006, the Salt Palace Convention Center now boasts 675,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space, ideal for groups of all sizes and needs. For more information on all that Salt Lake has to offer, visit www.VisitSaltLake.com.
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